Late field goal dooms Owls in loss to Old Dominion, 31-28


Running back Tony Moore led the team with 83 yards in the game. Photo by Max Jackson

Florida Atlantic University was not able to close out against Old Dominion University losing on a last second field goal. The Owls’ (3-9, 2-6 in Conference USA) senior wide receiver Lucky Whitehead propelled them to another fast start, scoring on a 78-yard punt return in the first quarter against Old Dominion (6-6, 4-5 in Conference-USA).

In the second quarter, the speedy senior wide receiver scored the first punt return touchdown for FAU since their 2001 inaugural Football Championship Subdivision season.

Whitehead is part of a 19-member senior class that head coach Charlie Partridge apologized to after the game. “I wanted to get more wins for them,” said Partridge. “I’m proud of the ones who stuck it out.”

“I enjoyed every minute,” said Whitehead, whose college career has come to an end. “I don’t regret anything.”

The Owls came out committed to running against the Monarchs’ 110th ranked rushing defense. FAU rushed for 153 yards in the first half, and attempted just 10 passes. Junior quarterback Jaquez Johnson led the team with 65 rushing yards at the half.

Johnson scored the game tying touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the Owls back from a 21-28 deficit; Johnson amassed 133 passing yards on the day.

The Owls defensive line forced the Monarchs’ offensive line into numerous penalties. ODU committed three holding penalties, and eight on the day. Junior defensive tackle Trevon Coley and defensive end Derek Butcher both recorded a sack for the game.

The game was tied at 21 after two quarters of play. The Owls defense was gashed on the ground. Monarch freshman running back Ray Lawry rushed for 213 yards for the day. ODU as a team gained 488 net yards for the game.

With the score tied at 28, the Owls committed a costly roughing-the-passer penalty with just over a minute left in the game. The penalty gave the Monarchs a first down, instead of what would have been a turnover on downs.

This led to a 27-yard field goal by junior kicker Satchel Ziffer giving the Monarch’s a 31-28 win as time expired.

“It hurts,” said junior defensive tackle Trevon Coley of failing to bring the senior class a win. “It sucks real bad that they couldn’t win their final game.”

Though the season did not go the way he would have hoped, Partridge does think that the seeds of development are there.

“We’re disappointed with the record,” he said. “The good thing is, we know where we’re headed.”